As FMLA Use Grows, Misuse Comes into Question

April 14, 2008 ( - More than three-quarters of U.S. employees know someone who has taken Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, according to a Tell It Now poll by ComPsych Corporation.

Of those who said they knew someone who had taken FMLA leave, 6% said they believe the reason for taking the leave was questionable, ComPsych said in a press release. “FMLA leave continues to increase, and some companies have as many as one-third of their workforce out on leave at any given time,” said Jim Brown, vice president of FMLASource, an affiliate company of ComPsych, in the release. “While FMLA is beneficial to the many employees who need it, there is still potential for misuse.”

Other responses to the poll included:

  • 23% said they knew of multiple people who have taken FMLA leave for differing reasons,
  • 20% said they knew someone who had taken leave for personal illness,
  • 19% said they knew of someone who had taken leave to care for a child, and
  • 9% said they knew someone who had taken FMLA leave to care for a spouse or relative.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division completed proposed revisions to the FMLA that address administrative challenges and the potential for misuse and published them in the Federal Register for Monday, February 11 (See DoL to Put out Proposed FMLA Changes ).

Another recent survey found strong public support for these changes (See Survey Finds FMLA Change Support ).